Bonnie Raitt was awarded the Song of the Year award at the 2023 Grammy Awards, beating out a star-studded field of nominees. Her song, Just Like That, won over other notable nominees such as Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Harry Styles, Beyonce, Adele, DJ Khaled, and Kendrick Lamar.
Upon accepting the award, Raitt expressed her surprise and said, “I don’t write a lot of songs, but I’m so proud that you appreciate this one. I’m totally humbled.” First Lady Dr. Jill Biden presented Raitt with the award.
Raitt’s win marked the first time a solo songwriter had won since the late Amy Winehouse’s classic hit, Rehab, took home the prize in 2008. Raitt also paid tribute to the late John Prine, who died of COVID-19 in April of 2020, in her speech. She described her victory as an “unreal moment” in honor of her song, which was inspired by organ donors and Prine.
During the Grammy Premiere ceremony earlier that evening, Raitt won two additional awards: Best Americana Performance for Made Up Mind and Best American Roots Song for Just Like That. Raitt has now won 13 Grammys over 30 all-time nominations.
Raitt, the daughter of Broadway performer John Raitt and pianist Marge Goddard, signed with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 21 and released her self-titled debut album in 1971. She received her first Grammy nomination in 1979 for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for her song You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming (Track). However, Raitt achieved breakout success with her 1989 album Nick Of Time, which included singles such as the title track, Thing Called Love, and Have a Heart.
Her follow-up album, Luck of the Draw, in 1991 went seven-times platinum and spawned her highest-charting singles, Something to Talk About and I Can’t Make You Love Me. Raitt won three more Grammys for her efforts on the record, including Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for Something To Talk About; Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo for Luck Of The Draw; and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for Good Man, Good Woman.
Her 1994 album Longing in Their Hearts featured the single Love Sneakin’ Up On You and garnered the Best Pop Album Grammy. Throughout her career, Raitt has collaborated with artists such as Prine, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, The Pointer Sisters, and Little Feat.
Raitt has released 21 albums in her career and prioritizes making music with a message. She said in a statement on her website, “I’m really aware of how lucky I am, and I feel like my responsibility is to get out there and say something fresh and new – for me and for the fans. It’s really daunting not to repeat yourself, but I have to have something to say, or I wouldn’t put out a record.”
Raitt expressed pride in being nominated for Song of the Year, saying, “I’m always really proud to be acknowledged. To be acknowledged for song of the year this time is pretty big – so, for one of my tunes? That’s a big thing for me, so I’m very proud.”